Wired vs Wireless? (Part 4) IT Support Episode 27

In this week’s episode Captain Christian talks about how to avoid a potential fatal problem for your network. He’s seen it before, and electrical contractors who don’t understand how computer networks work, and try to apply their electrical skills to data cabling, seem to make this mistake. You can’t spur data sockets from another data socket. It simply doesn’t work that way!

So watch this episode to ensure you avoid this error, as it can be costly and wasteful to resolve.

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Captain Christian in a space rocket.

“Wired vs Wireless (Part 4)” – IT Support Episode 27

Hi! I’m Christian from “Northstar IT” and this week I’m continuing my theme of wired versus wireless networks.

So this week I want to talk about a little problem we’ve discovered on a few occasions when an electrical contractor has extended that cabling infrastructure I’ve talked about on a few episodes, and it never ceases to amaze me, how many electricians think this is an acceptable solution.

If they’re installing an electrical power point, another power socket in your office or home, yes I can understand, because you can actually do this. Extending a ring main.

The structure of a wired network in simple terms. Think of a star with a little spoke in the middle. Now the spoke in modern terms is called a network switch. It’s that switch that is managing all those data packets whizzing around your computer network. But then what you have is a cable that goes out from that hub in the middle out to every device on your network.

One of those devices could be a wireless access point and then they’re connected in and funnelled in. What you can’t do is take one of those points on the star and then spur another data connection off it. It won’t work.

In the times we’ve stumbled across this it’s worked sort of because the new data point, this spur has been used but the original one that’s in the middle, has not. But then sooner or later the customer wants to use it and a computer gets plugged in and the network goes…and then what follows is several hours of diagnostics to work out why the network isn’t working.

So what they thought would save a few quid by getting the electrician to put in that extra data point. Actually costs far more in the long run.

So please follow this bit of advice. It’s better to do one thing well than several things badly, so speak to your IT support people they’re the experts when it comes to computer networking.

Before I go this week just a reminder. You can find all of my videos on Youtube by searching for “Northstar IT”. There’s a channel on there you’ll recognise the branding and you can see the entire archive of episodes. And of course if you subscribe you’ll get told when a new one has been released as well.

Until next time.

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